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West Africa – UK grads flocking to region

07 August 2013

Ambitious graduates are increasingly moving to Africa in a bid to avoid menial jobs in Britain, according to research resulting from the London-based Ghana Careers and Opportunities Fair 2013. The number of UK university graduates seeking employment in Ghana and other English-speaking African countries has almost doubled in the past three years.

Emmanuel Arthur, from a Ghanaian telecommunications company, commented to ukzambians.co.uk: “We are certainly witnessing a growing trend among British graduates to apply for jobs in Ghana and other West African countries. Three years ago, we received practically no applications from British graduates, but since then we have seen a +40-45% increase. Primarily because the UK labour market is close to saturation point.”

“This is generally regarded as a positive development for Ghanaian employers, who are keen to recruit British graduates because of their professional approach to work and communication skills. British graduates in return, reap the rewards of employment in West Africa, [where] the quality of life is generally considered to be better,” Mr Arthur added.

While salaries in West Africa can be as much as -25% lower than British equivalents; the cost of living, in combination with a shorter working week, the tropical climate, and year-round sunshine provides some compensation for lower wages.

There are, on average, 85 applicants for each graduate position in Britain, compared with 15 per job in West Africa. A spokesperson for GUBA (the Ghana UK Based Achievement Awards), which co-sponsored the recruitment fair, commented: “British graduates are sick of putting up with fewer openings and intense competition. Given the West African businesses are crying out for young British talent, it’s no surprise that Ghana and other nations are now firmly on their radar.”  

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